2

votes

cooking with coconut flour - how to prevent crumbling

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 25, 2011 at 12:24 AM

One of my kids has a nut allergy, but he's fine with coconut flour. So far I've made pita bread and chocolate chip cookies with coconut flour, but both still ended up super crumbly. I guess it's not too horrible for cookies, but it's still too much.

Sandwiches made from coconut flour pita bread also fall apart (they're not paleo yet, still fighting the good fight.)

So far I've found that using double the amount of eggs helps, but not enough. Anything else I can do to get some gluten like elasticity and still keep away from gluten?

Please help before the wife buys more of the off the shelf crap that's made with HFCS, ammonia and other crap!

And if I can figure out how to make bagels out of coconut flour, I might be able to get her to break her wheat habit too.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on June 07, 2013
at 06:49 AM

I'd love to see this recipe too. Please share!

67871ef2326f29da48f1522827fc0f80

(704)

on June 04, 2013
at 04:33 PM

With kids that young, I wouldn't go telling them 'this is special' or what's in it. Just serve it up. I'm okay with your idea of making it look like foods they're used to but I wouldn't say boo about it! Cauliflower or not, it doesn't matter if they normally like it -- so long as they eat healthier. I know people who hate raisins, say, but I'll put raisins (food processed) in for a sweetener and they love the recipe. I don't tell them (knowing they are not allergic or anything). Ignorance can be bliss.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on December 30, 2011
at 06:13 PM

Awesome idea. I do have some flax seeds in the freezer. Thank you.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 27, 2011
at 03:40 AM

are you using a sifter?

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on December 27, 2011
at 03:39 AM

Yum, I like your ideas. The notion of letting go of "substituting" and simply enjoying a vague semblance for what it is, is really the key to trying to paleo-fy any food.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on December 26, 2011
at 02:10 PM

I agree, but these are 7 and 4 year old kids, and their mom keeps pushing SAD foods on them. :( I'm trying to get them to eat better, so getting them to at least eat less harmful versions of those SAD foods is miles ahead of letting them eat wheat and other harmful things.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on December 26, 2011
at 02:08 PM

Please do. The kids do like cauliflower, so it would probably work out. I'll try this and see if it works.

2b2c2e4aa87e9aa4c99cae48e980f70d

(1059)

on December 26, 2011
at 09:44 AM

Letting go certainly simplifies cooking.

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15 Answers

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6
A15af22bd729ec030e8f47d1189b6eaf

(774)

on December 25, 2011
at 02:39 AM

Try adding some tapioca starch, too. Coconut flour is too low in starch to allow for sufficient gelatinization.

15
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on December 25, 2011
at 12:16 PM

I use half the coconut flour I think I need, and add extra eggs, tapioca flour, and/or guar/xanthan gum when I bake with coconut flour. You can always add more coconut flour, but most recipes use a LOT less than it seems like they'll need. The batter should be almost runny by comparison, because as it sets, it will thicken substantially.

However, one of the things I found most effective was letting go of the idea of 'substituting' breads, cookies, cakes, etc. at all. You see, I think we get habituated to those things -- especially if we get them when we're young, and then it becomes difficult to let them go. I decided that, since most "substitutes" didn't really 'represent' well, it was probably better just to find alternatives.

In place of pitas, try "inside out sandwiches" -- slices of meat, poultry, etc., with salad fixings shoved or wrapped inside. (We will purchase a whole fresh pork shoulder or roast beef, rub/roast it, and slice it super thin, then spread it with home-made mayo and mustard and wrap it around baby lettuces).

In place of tacos, roast up some sweet potatoes. Scoop out the middles, leaving a 1/4" layer of potato against the skin, then pop them back into the oven to crisp (like making potato skins) -- then fill them with home-made taco meat.

In place of pancakes, whizz up 1/4 cup of cooked pumpkin or butternut squash in the blender with 3 3ggs. Pour into a buttered pan and let cook until set -- flip to brown the 2nd side, and serve with butter and cranberry relish. (this makes about a half-dozen).

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on December 27, 2011
at 03:39 AM

Yum, I like your ideas. The notion of letting go of "substituting" and simply enjoying a vague semblance for what it is, is really the key to trying to paleo-fy any food.

2b2c2e4aa87e9aa4c99cae48e980f70d

(1059)

on December 26, 2011
at 09:44 AM

Letting go certainly simplifies cooking.

3
F907531cc916e3f705a37eca5e8939b4

on June 04, 2013
at 07:44 AM

I add gelatin to my baked products. I think it helps it hold together better. You can try it for bread and pancakes that use coconut flour.

http://paleorina.com

3
E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

on December 30, 2011
at 03:32 PM

I'd check out recipes specifically made for coconut flour. When I transitioned to GF (before going grain-free) I learned to sub by weight, not volume. That was easy. The transition to grain-free baking was a lot more difficult, since coconut and almond flours each require a significantly different approach. Almond flour (which you don't use) requires very little moisture, and coconut flour sucks up all the moisture you can give it (and will get crumbly). Once you feel comfortable using recipes for coconut flour goodies, you can more comfortably make your own.

I hesitate recommending xanthan and guar gums as binders. I used them briefly when I baked GF and honestly they just wreak my stomach. And they're a bitch to clean up. Think dried, caked on egg and multiply it by about a thousand.

Also, +1 to the people who mentioned that it'd be best to 'get over' substitutions for gluten products. I became pretty good at GF baking before going grain-free, but nothing will completely replace a good baguette or French pastry (in my opinion, anyway). But, I make a mean 'paleo' cookie and muffin on occasion.

3
3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on December 30, 2011
at 01:50 PM

You can take a few large spoonful's of flax seeds and crush them up. Place in a cup with a few spoons of hot water. They will turn into a gel. I have found that this is a good binder. I am not a fan of tapioca or xanthan gum as I would not normally eat them.

I also second the adding of zucchini or cauliflower or chesses. I have added potato flour a few times - however this is abit border line, depends if you eat potatoes or not. For me I do occasionally and when I occasionally make breads/cakes I find it ok.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on December 30, 2011
at 06:13 PM

Awesome idea. I do have some flax seeds in the freezer. Thank you.

3
006ca81dc32bffe07e580a62b092845d

(60)

on December 25, 2011
at 01:37 PM

+1 re: "letting go of the idea of 'substituting' breads"

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on December 26, 2011
at 02:10 PM

I agree, but these are 7 and 4 year old kids, and their mom keeps pushing SAD foods on them. :( I'm trying to get them to eat better, so getting them to at least eat less harmful versions of those SAD foods is miles ahead of letting them eat wheat and other harmful things.

67871ef2326f29da48f1522827fc0f80

(704)

on June 04, 2013
at 04:33 PM

With kids that young, I wouldn't go telling them 'this is special' or what's in it. Just serve it up. I'm okay with your idea of making it look like foods they're used to but I wouldn't say boo about it! Cauliflower or not, it doesn't matter if they normally like it -- so long as they eat healthier. I know people who hate raisins, say, but I'll put raisins (food processed) in for a sweetener and they love the recipe. I don't tell them (knowing they are not allergic or anything). Ignorance can be bliss.

2
268b47209dfd85e911ee7c55124fd71a

on December 27, 2011
at 03:09 AM

I suggest adding more eggs. For a good understanding on coconut flour read this awesome post from a blogger who I find extremely knowledgeable.

http://nourishedkitchen.com/baking-with-coconut-flour/

You can also find good paleo recipes with coconut flour on this site too.

http://www.thewholekitchen.com/

2
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on December 26, 2011
at 05:59 PM

You need binder to replace the gluten in wheat flour. Add in additional eggs (or other protein). I've made coconut flour pancakes that are nearly 75% eggs and they turn out well - holding their shape while still being bread-like.

2
2b2c2e4aa87e9aa4c99cae48e980f70d

(1059)

on December 26, 2011
at 09:43 AM

I add shredded zucchini or grated cauliflower to recipes and it provides texture and stability. When I get a chance I'll post my cheese biscuit recipe. It is stable enough to support bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on December 26, 2011
at 02:08 PM

Please do. The kids do like cauliflower, so it would probably work out. I'll try this and see if it works.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on June 07, 2013
at 06:49 AM

I'd love to see this recipe too. Please share!

1
5010bf11b02a92425dd46634d2893245

on November 04, 2012
at 05:33 PM

Has anyone tried using gelatin for this?

1
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 26, 2011
at 06:06 PM

All the above ideas are great and I have one in a different direction--you can USE the tendency to be crumbly by making what we used to call an "apple brown Betty." I sauteed some apple chunks in butter and cinnamon. Then I temporarily took the apples out and added more butter plus some coconut flour (I also used a little almond flour but obviously you'd skip that.) Anyhow, in this case you want a buttery, crumbly texture and I left it in the pan long enough to brown a little. Then I dumped the apples back in and stirred it up.

For serving, you could add whipped cream but it was Christmas so I poured on a little home-made eggnog. Very yummy! I made the dish out of jealousy of my grandson's apple pie, but in all honesty my dessert was legal and smelled better and tasted (probably) as good.

1
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on December 26, 2011
at 06:02 PM

I have not found anything to work, and so reserve coconut flour for recipes that resemble crumbly or tender food such as bisquits and crusts.

1
6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on December 25, 2011
at 09:32 PM

Definitely adding more eggs and maybe some xanthan gum would help. Coconut flour requires a lot of eggs... you might even try some recipes from healthyindulgences.net, or comfybelly.com. I have had successes with some of their coconut flour recipes. :)

0
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on February 04, 2012
at 03:37 PM

Use a crap ton of eggs. Seriously. You should have about the same amount of liquid to flour when you're working with coconut flour.

0
Eb11182063d45b82f42f93606eb93302

on February 04, 2012
at 11:23 AM

I have been searching for coconut recipes too and have found this site: http:// www. tiana-coconut. com/ coconut_flour_recipes.htm It has expanded our repitoire at least. Good luck!

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